Have Gun, Will Travel

Have Gun, Will Travel is a 30-minute American western drama about a well-to-do San Francisco man who hires himself out to assist in situations that might require gun-play. The gunman calls himself Paladin and dresses entirely in black when he is working for a client. The title of the show comes from the phrase that is prominently displayed on his calling card that also shows the chess piece of a knight. Richard Boone plays the title role.

Paladin is usually contacted by someone who believes his problems will best be handled by someone with a gun. Boone's character then usually travels to the area that is the site of the trouble. He gets to know the people involved in the situation and comes to understand the problem itself. He does his best to avoid using his gun as he tries to reason with everyone involved and find a peaceful solution. When a gun may be needed, he often shows people the firearm he carries and explains it is perfectly designed to match his shooting style. He does this to discourage a gunfight. If he needs to shoot, he is very fast and deadly accurate.

Between jobs he lives the good life at the Carlton Hotel in San Francisco, CA. He is always well-dressed, attends the best entertainment available and eats the fanciest of meals. Before he became a gun for hire, he was a military officer and served in the Civil War. He is well-educated, multilingual, and is a former debt-ridden gambler. It was a gambling debt that led him to use his gun skills to back the wrong side and started him on his mission to help the truly needy. His Paladin persona comes from his view of himself as a knight fighting for people who cannot successfully defend themselves. A number of the episodes were written by Gene Roddenberry.

6 Seasons, 225 Episodes
September 14, 1957
Drama, Action & Adventure
Cast: Richard Boone, Kam Tong
Have Gun, Will Travel

Have Gun, Will Travel Full Episode Guide

  • A bank hires Paladin to meet a rancher and pick up $10,000 but before the black clad one arrives the man is murdered and the money is stolen.

  • Paladin is imprisoned by an insane former matador who forces him to be the bull in the ring.

  • Paladin can't seem to get rid of a Native American damsel whose life he saved.

  • A young Chinese woman, awaiting passage back to her homeland so she won't have to go through with an arranged marriage, hires Paladin to protect her from assassins.

  • A wealthy land baron hires Paladin to find the shooter who crippled him while the townspeople pray that no more violence occurs.

  • Paladin guides an art collector and his daughter into the wilderness in search of a reclusive sculptor.

  • Paladin is hired to protect a murderer who was declared criminally insane but has been pronounced cured.

  • After being slipped a mickey in a waterfront dive, Paladin awakens chained in a darkened warehouse along with two other men who are in the same boat.

  • An exiled high priestess from India hires Paladin to escort her through the desert for a rendezvous with some of her loyal followers.

  • A prisoner awaiting execution escapes and leaves Paladin behind in his place.

  • Paladin and his prisoner have their journey halted by a sheriff who wants to hand the prisoner over to Native Americans. It seems as though the red men need a burial scalp.

  • Paladin joins in the hunt for a fugitive who killed five innocent men while trying to avenge his son's murder.

  • In Mexico, a feverish Paladin must rely on a wussy farmer and his smokin' hot wife to help him escape from a gang of banditos.

  • A wealthy socialite hires Paladin to locate her granddaughter. He finds the lass living on a farm but she doesn't want to return with him to San Francisco.

  • Paladin helps a barbed wire salesman transport his cargo knowing full well that its delivery could start a range war between cattlemen and sod busters.

  • Paladin tries to reunite two Native American brothers. One is now a sheriff while the other still retains the ways of his old culture.

  • Paladin and a bank robber's wife search for her husband and his loot in a ghost town that's fast filling up with other treasure hunters.

  • Paladin helps out a couple who are about to have their first child on Christmas Eve.

  • Paladin serves as a defense attorney for a feared gunman who's being tried on a trumped-up murder charge.

  • A former Army officer, who left his wife to go gold prospecting in Mexico, hires Paladin to smooth things over with wifey before his return.

  • Paladin is hired by a physician pal to find the son of a woman the sawbones once loved before the young man makes a terrible mistake.

  • Paladin goes up against an old friend who's now a town marshal. It seems as though the old pal became a tyrant after cleaning up the town.

  • A Catholic mission hires Paladin to retrieve a statue that was stolen from their premises.

  • Town politicians hired three gunmen to clean up their town only to find out that the cure was worse than the disease. Now they've come to Paladin.

  • Traveling across the desert, Paladin and an accused killer must battle the elements and a bloodthirsty gang.

  • Paladin stands with a sheriff against his wife's former lover, an outlaw who's sworn to take her back.

  • Paladin must protect his prisoner from the wrath of a vengeance seeking rancher.

  • A sheriff who's about to retire refuses Paladin's help against a group of gunmen.

  • Paladin arrives in a town for a job only to find that his prospective client was just shot dead.

  • Paladin escorts a released prisoner home to his family but five hired killers have other ideas.

  • Paladin has a most unusual task. A rancher hires him to stop, by any means necessary, his upcoming wedding to his bitchy housekeeper.

  • Paladin relates, via flashbacks, how he became a gun for hire.

  • Paladin tries to recover $20,000 in gold located at the bottom of a lake. Three outlaws and a greedy fisherman stand in his way.

  • Paladin and his prisoner interact with a group of lower class wanderers.

  • Paladin finds himself going against a female outlaw.

  • Paladin tries to stop a practical joker from pulling one prank too many.

  • Paladin goes up against an Irish rabble rouser to prevent him from raising an army to invade Canada.

  • A rancher pits his two sons against each other in a survival of the fittest contest. It's up to Paladin to prevent tragedy from ensuing.

  • Paladin is hired to intercept a samurai and a priest who are coming to San Francisco to sew discontent among Japanese settlers.

  • Paladin must find a missing case of nitroglycerin for its inventor--the famed Alfred Nobel.

  • Tracking a misssing man, Paladin stumbles upon a man who's made himself dictator of an abandoned fort and is also suffering from typhoid.

  • Paladin stumbles upon a man trying to beat his drinking problem but amazingly his well produces whiskey instead of water.

  • Paladin travels with a woman to a town in search of her saloon owner mother who's gone missing.

  • A female poetess hires Paladin to rescue her fiancee from the seedy underbelly of San Francisco life.

  • On a dark and stormy night, Paladin stays at a run-down inn and encounters three strange characters.

  • Paladin escorts two outlaw brothers to their hanging and suspects that someone is following with the intent of setting the two siblings free and killing him.

  • Searching for the winner of a lottery, Paladin has three potential winners get mysteriously killed right underneath his nose.

  • A miner who just hit it rich aims to wed a greedy barmaid. It's up to Paladin to show him the truth about the damsel.

  • An exiled Russian prince, bored with his life, decides to hunt the most dangerous game of all--man. The man he selects to hunt is Paladin.

  • A Mexican general, who's of lower class origin, hires Paladin to find and gain him an audience with a group of aristocrats.

  • Paladin is hired by a British criminologist to track down a reclusive gunslinger.

  • Paladin tracks a killer to a town controlled by outlaws and does some tricky maneuvering to get his man.

  • The town wuss, who mistakenly believes he's dying, summons up enough courage to kill the town bully. Paladin helps the man deal with the aftermath.

  • Against his better judgment, Paladin agrees to pay off a Civil War debt of honor by driving homesteaders off the land of a ruthless cattle baron.

  • Paladin improbably wins a young boy in a poker game.

  • A group of cattlemen hire Paladin to stop their out of control hired gun from killing again.

  • A wealthy ranchero hires Paladin to protect his father. It seems as though the old gent believes himself to be the legendary Don Quixote.

  • Paladin tries to keep the wedding of an old friend's daughter from being ruined by an outlaw.

  • Paladin apprehends a killer and leads him across the desert where they run into a crazy old man in a covered wagon.

  • A murderer escapes from custody seeking revenge upon Paladin, who apprehended him, and his wife, who informed.

  • This time Paladin is hired by a pianist to retrieve the man's stolen piano.

  • An Afro-American woman wants a chance to say goodbye to her husband, who has been sentenced to hang. She hires Paladin to escort her as well as bring his body home for burial.

  • Paladin represents a group of downtrodden Native Americans in a two-man, winner-take-all equestrian race.

  • Paladin enlists the aid of a female missionary to disarm a town that's been rocked by violence.

  • A wuss hires Paladin to retrieve his Greek mail order bride from a neighbor who stole her away.

  • Paladin tries to get medical attention for a saloon owner who was wounded in one of his gunfights.

  • Paladin is aboard a stagecoach that gets waylaid by Mexican banditos.

  • In this Have Gun, Will Travel version of Romeo and Juliet, Paladin tries to help young lovers who happen to be on opposite sides of a bitter family feud.

  • Paladin escorts a nurse through treacherous mountains and they happen upon two prospectors who might have committed a murder.

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